Japanese Internment in the U.S.
By: Peter Park
How could such a tragedy have occurred in a
democratic society that prides itself on
individual rights and freedoms?...I have
brooded about this whole episode on and off
for the past three decades...
-Milton S. Eisenhower
Pearl Harbor & Racism
-After Pearl Harbor, Americans all over the
country became furious.
“Japs”, and Yellow Journalism
spread more throughout the west
part of the United States.
-Many Japanese Americans lost their jobs
or were forced out of their position.
• - Japanese Americans were
threatened and assaulted by prejudice
Americans. Chinese had to wear a
“I’m not Japanese sign around.”
General John DeWitt
• In charge of the army’s Western
At the time, DeWitt was 62 years old and
was a head strong general believing that
Japanese people pose a threat to the
"General DeWitt claimed to have heard
many signals coming from the Pacific and
day by day, was passing on these, “false”
facts to his superiors.
"DeWitt passed many “letters” to the
president with the help of Stimson. The
letter was about the “Evacuation of
Japanese & other Subversive Persons
from the pacific Coast.”
Getting Ready for E-Day
• Valuable household items were in risk
of being stolen if taken to camp.
• Items sold for fraction of their original
price. Japanese became frustrated.
of what terror could have
happened in Pearl Harbor, some
Japanese decided to evacuate willingly.
•Notmany, but some veterans of World
War I or just prideful citizens just that just
couldn't afford to lose their shops and
leave commited suicide.
• Finally the time has come. Certain
regions had certain curfews to be at
their relocation centers.
• About 25% of all evacuees were
children. Only the seriously ill were
allowed to remain behind.
•Armedsoldiers were watching the
Japanese evacuate always.
•Children and Adults had to wear ID tags
in case they got lost.
• There were 10 camps set up for
Japanese Americans during World
• Among the popular was Manzanar,
CA, Tule Lake, CA, & Topaz, UT.
•The WRA was in charge of the camps.
The food in the camps were provided by
the WRA. Still costed money though.
•The camps, even though not as brutal as
Nazi camps, it was still a prison.
The "Typical" Camp
• 9 wards, 4 blocks per ward,
24 barracks per block.
• Mess Hall, Laundry Rooms,
• Hospital, Fire Department.
• Work available for abled
• Watchtowers, signs,
barbed wire, search lights,
& armed soldiers.
The "Typical" Education
• Education was a problem.
• Shortage in textbooks, non-
• Disadvantage in college.
• Grade school has school in
• Poor features.
• Starts late, ends early.
• Kids who ditch.
Life in Camp
• Many don't even think of
• Furniture hand-made.
• Trouble at Manzanar.
• Frequent trouble at
Trouble at Manzanar
• Angry food mob, Manzanar
Dec. 6 1942.
• Girl Scouts, baseball.
• "Informers" led to serious
strikes and beatings.
Typical Japanese Home
A Sudden Opportunity
• In February 3rd, 1943 the U.S.
army activated the 442nd
Regimental Combat Team.
• Over 10,000 young ”Nisei" men
joined the 442nd Regimental
• 442nd Regiment becomes
honored by President Truman
that they fought for honor and
prejudice after World War II.
Manzanar & Tule Lake
• Among all the other camps,
Manzanar and Tule Lake were
the most trouble.
• While and angry crowd was
fired at by the MP's in
Manzanar, Tule Lake was
occupied by the army because
of the demonstration.
• After the bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, President Harry
Truman lifted the Executive Order
• Following the Japanese surrender
on August 15, 1945 - 1947 all
camps closed down.
• Many Japanese Americans had
nowhere to go and were placed in
• On August 10, 1988 the H.R. 442
is signed by President Ronaled
Reagan giving $20,000 to each
surviving internee. And an official
apology to the Japanese people
was signed later by President